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Senate says 'no' to recreational marijuana

The state Senate has soundly rejected a bill that would have legalized adult recreational use marijuana.

HB 1420 had earlier passed the House.

Its supporters say it was designed to head off a potential initiated Constitutional measure, which would be more wide open than what the bill would have allowed.

The Senate Human Services Committee sent the bill to the Senate floor without committee recommendation. The chairman – Sen. Judy Lee (R-West Fargo) – told her colleagues she believes adult marijuana use is coming.

"I think that train has left the station," Lee said. "We can see the headlight of that engine coming down the tracks. I would way rather be in the engine, driving it, than tied to the tracks, so they can run over me."

Opponents said marijuana is addictive, and is a “gateway drug” to other narcotics. And they rejected the argument that recreational marijuana use is inevitable.

"It's a wrong thing to do, to pass something that we don't like, just so we don't get something we hate," said Sen. Diane Larson (R-Bismarck).

The bill failed 37 to 10.

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